Nigeria is a blessed nation in terms of human and natural resources. Yet, it has been ravaged by systemic corruption and bad leadership, leading to a near collapse of the economy, which has given birth to hunger, frustration, depression and suicidal tendencies in some Nigerians who have lost hope in the renewed hope of the President Bola Amed Tinubu administration.

Life has become tough under President Tinubu’s Government as his leadership style has become questionable. His policies are unfriendly and not people-oriented, bringing untold hardship to Nigerians who find life more challenging. No renewed hope in sight as the country is experiencing its worst crisis ever.

The government that campaigned with the slogan “renewed hope” during the presidential election in 2023 has allegedly lost touch with hope and brought hopelessness upon Nigerians whose expectations are now being cut short. They are struggling with hyperinflation as food, goods, services, and other essentials are rising exponentially daily.

Unfortunately, the President’s speech on May 29, 2023, which ought to have been full of hope to a battered nation in dire need of assistance, instead brought hopelessness with the pronouncement of the removal of fuel subsidies. This exacerbated the already deteriorated situation left by President Muhammad Buhari’s administration, and today, Nigerians are all suffering as that move by the President has brought confusion and hopelessness to the Nigerian people.

The lack of planning, assessment, and study of the fuel subsidy regime before the announcement of the removal has shown that the APC was never prepared to lead the people and lacked the leadership potential to transform Nigeria into a great nation. However, APC, now in power, appears more confused as the living conditions of the Nigerian people continue to deteriorate.

Removing fuel subsidies and floating the naira without well-thought-out plans or programmes has led to an unprecedented fall in the country’s economy. Hence, hardship, hunger, depression, and frustration are ravaging Nigeria, with the citizens hopeless and hapless without any solution in sight.

President Tinubu’s government claimed that subsidy removal would free resources to develop critical sectors of the economy and provide social amenities that would improve Nigerians’ living conditions and standards. The opposite is the case today, as hunger, frustration, and depression have become the order of the day. It claimed to be concerned about the welfare of suffering Nigerians, working hard to save money to develop critical projects that, in turn, would improve people’s lives. However, rather than focus on the people, the President began to focus on himself and political colleagues by expanding government frivolous spending and financing the politicians’ luxurious lifestyles.

The supplementary budget for 2023 and the expansion of the size of the government saw 46 ministers appointed, further worsening the situation for Nigerians. The nation is struggling with huge debts and an economic crisis due to poor policy formulation and implementation, a lack of transparency, and monumental corruption.

A government that cares and is sincere about developing the country must prioritize its plans instead of allocating about N160 million each to 469 lawmakers in the National Assembly for car purchases and budgeting more than N1.5 billion for the office of the First Lady, which is unknown to the Nigeria constitution, prioritizing the renovation of the Vice President’s residence with the sum of N15 billion, including presidential yacht, and N3 billion for purchase of three more bulletproof Mercedes Benz S-Class 580 and supply of other vehicles to State House – all of which is going to be spent mainly chasing foreign goods, thereby further weakening the value of the naira.

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The recent plea by the President that Nigerians should patronize made-in-Nigeria goods was lip service as charity begins at home. The President and his team should lead by example.

A country committed to cutting costs and providing resources for social and critical projects cannot afford to waste scarce resources on foreign trips—from the UN General Assembly in New York to Germany-Berlin to India and the COP28 Dubai jamboree that saw 1,114 delegates from Nigeria, led by the President, and outrageous numbers to the Qatar business trips, including his family members, to canvas foreign investment.

The Tinubu government appears to have no regard or respect for public spending. More than N4 billion has been reportedly spent on foreign trips in less than a year of its inauguration. The government spends more time on foreign trips to convince foreign investors to come invest in Nigeria rather than working from home to build a conducive environment that is secure and business-friendly, devoid of corruption, followed by a sound justice system to boost investor confidence. The Nigerian currency has witnessed unprecedented falls against significant currencies of the world since this administration came on board, which in turn further weakened the purchasing power of the citizens.

Today, Nigerians are no longer protesting for the improvement of their lives or social amenities but against hunger. In protests across the country, the story remains the same – all they want is to be able to feed themselves. These challenges have intensified the security threats in Nigeria. No region or part of the country that is not faced with insecurity threats as successive administrations have not been able to find an answer to this issue, including the Tinubu administration. The imbalance of social justice and years of deliberate neglect of our youths are some of the causes of the security challenges that this country is facing. And no society or country can develop without peace and security.

The recent wanton killings across the country, including of our men in uniform in the Niger-Delta region, and abduction of school children from their schools, do not sound good to the ears. Many may wonder if the educational system will survive, as many families would now prefer to keep their wards out of school for fear they may be killed or kidnapped.

One would have thought that this government, which grapples with low acceptability, credibility and perception issues, would take serious steps to deal with the several problems that ravage the nation by living above board and deviating from the poor and corrupt leadership style of past administrations. Besides the low acceptance and credibility issues, the government’s character and posturing make it clear that it is a waste of time to continue to believe that the APC campaign slogan “renewed hope” will deliver the actual economic development that the country desires.

To further worsen the situation and put Nigerians on a long, tortuous walk to the path of economic progress and prosperity, the opposition voices have been dampened and silent. At the same time, the Labour movement appears to have been compromised and weakened, and civil society organizations (CSOs) have been destroyed. Now, the people have been left with hopelessness.

As this administration prepares to mark its first anniversary in office, and if it truly desires to make progress and bring real development and economic prosperity, it should deliberately reduce the cost of governance, build strong institutions, improve power supply, empower the youth, create jobs, respect the rule of law, be financially disciplined, consult widely before the introduction of new policies and be coherent in policy formulation, courageous and transparent in the prosecution of anti-corruption war, encourage local production, respect dissenting voices, and empower civil society organizations. We are hoping that this “renewed hope” administration will retrace its steps and begin to correct the fundamental errors that heralded it.